Hands-on Gear Review

Lib Tech Travis Rice Pro Blunt Review

Price:  $600 List | $419.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Well-made, floaty, rails turns at higher speeds, decent pop, made in the USA.
Cons:  On the heavier side, not as playful as others on firm snow or while going slower, sidecut too big for the overall length.
Bottom line:  Just like the Pointy version - it might take a while to get used to – it's not for the timid, and it's not nearly as fun as the 161.5
Editors' Rating:   
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Shape:  Twin
Camber/Rocker:  Hybrid-Rocker/Camber
Flex:  Medium-stiff
Manufacturer:   Lib Tech

Our Verdict

The Lib-Tech T.Rice Pro Blunt is a good snowboard for intermediate to expert riders looking for a big feeling board capable of going fast and stomping big airs. It does not handle well at lower speeds and can take a while to get used to, and because of this it just didn't feel very fun.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Chris Edmands

Last Updated:
Tuesday
March 27, 2018

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This board did not fair as well as it's bigger brother, the 161.5W Pointy, which was greatly enjoyed by our tester last season. Expecting to find it more agile and freestylie because of the shorter length, our tester found it to be more cumbersome - lacking the easy-goingness that is expected with most 157cm size boards.
Because the 157W is 4.5cm shorter than the 161.5 it should have sported a tighter radius sidecut to make it more agile. Boards that respond immediately are nimble. Nimble equals fun. Fun is your goal. Though the stats claim that the sidecut is smaller, merely 2/10ths of a meter, Lib-Tech's inadequate minimizing of the radius only made the board feel like an actual piece of lumber. The board would only engage in and out of turns on groomers and chop with considerable effort. It felt way too stiff for anything other than super high speed turns. In powder, to our dismay (because even boards with zero sidecut will ride through pow) it, again, took considerable effort to link turns even with speed, compared to others in it's category.
With this being said the board would have been much better with a sub 8m sidecut.

Performance Comparison


Edging and Carving


This stick, with all it's magne-traction bumps and long sidecut, only rode well at speed. It was very difficult to get in and out of turns at slower speeds and even felt as though it didn't want to let you out of the turn once engaged. It certainly bit well into harder snow thanks to the serrated steel edges, but the extra long sidecut radius made it feel sluggish to react. Since it only seemed to perform well at speed our tester thinks it's not the best choice as an all around board.
Edge and graphic detail of the T. Rice Pro Blunt
Edge and graphic detail of the T. Rice Pro Blunt

Float in Powder


This board floated great in powder mainly because it's rockered and wide - just like it's larger brother, the Lib-Tech T. Rice Pro Pointy 161.5. The 157 will obviously float a bit less because it's shorter, but it stays on top just fine. Matching it in this category are the Jones Explorer, Salomon Super Eight, and the Burton Flying-V
Playing with rocker in pow is fun.
Playing with rocker in pow is fun.

Stability at Speed


As with the 161.5, the only thing that hurts this boards stability is the rockered base - but it's pretty dang stable regardless. The med-stiff flex helps to even things out when cruising at high speeds too. The Rome Agent and Jones Explorer shared the score, but not for the same exact reasons. The Rome Agent is fully cambered and wide, while the Jones Explorer has a bit of camber and is directional. This Blunt version is most stable going really, really fast, wether turning or straight-lining.

Playfulness


Since it rides best at high speeds, takes longer to transition from edge to edge, and is a little on the heavier side, the T. Rice Blunt isn't very playful. The rocker helps a lilt bit, but this thing still feels like a tank.
Lien Air
Lien Air

Pop


Rockered base profiles hurt pop and stiffer flex helps to bring some pop back - so this board isn't doing too bad in this category. If you learned to ollie on a cambered board then you'll notice a loss of snap when you jump on any board with a non-traditional camber profile.

Best Applications


Suited best for going very fast, locking into high speed carves on groomers or hardpack, and floating in powder.

Value


Price tag is too high for this below average performer.

Conclusion


If you want a stiffer, heavier, and sluggish board that will last a long time - here you go. For a preview of what you may encounter when you first strap it on look here…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js_l_BB4_eg
This tester wants to rename the T. Rice Pro Blunt the "T. Rice Pro Dimensional Lumber Stick".

Other Versions and Accessories


We tested the blunt 157 wide and pointy 161.5 wide versions of this board.. Both styles come in standard widths and varying lengths. The Blunt ranges from 150cm - 157cm and the Pointy ranges from 161.5cm - 164.5cm.

Difference Between the Two Styles


Beyond the noticeable difference in the way the nose and tail terminate, and the subtle changes in graphics, the performance of the T. Rice Pro Blunt and T. Rice Pro Pointy are very much the same. The main difference is that the Blunt is only available in sizes up to 157cm, and the Pointy starts at 161.5. The variation in tip/tail shape will not make a difference in day-to-day riding whatsoever - it's just for looks. If you disagree please try and prove this reviewer wrong.
Chris Edmands

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Most recent review: March 27, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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